tv Inside Story Al Jazeera March 24, 2014 5:00pm-5:31pm EDT
they say can economic summit is scheduled to take place in june in russia will not go forward. >> an-egyptian court handed out a death sentence for members of the muslim brotherhood. it remains to be seen whether the sentences will be carried out. stay tuned for more updates. >> the crimea-ukraine has none about the amicable. and both sides are making threatening troop movements. it's the inside story. >> hello, i'm ray suarez. there have been big changes in the map of the world over the
past 25 years. the soviet union broke up into more than a dozen questions. czechoslovakia into two. thin later years break-away koso got it's autonomy from serbia with american bombs. montenegro negotiated its way out. in the aftermath of iraq the kurds created their own state still technically inside iraq borders. the crisis of ukraine has swiftly run through versions of all those different options. would the story end peacefully or violently. is the world just one overreaction away from a shooting war in europe? early monday russian pair troopers and armored vehicles stormed the naval base in
eastern crimea. the stun grenades and automatic weapons that captured dozens of ukrainian soldiers and the base commander. in over the weekend the russian troops forced their way into the your cranan air base with armored vehicles. today the russian flag flies on top of 200 ukrainian military bases in crimea. ukraine's acting president announced the withdraw of troops and their families from crimea after the recent fall of the bases to russian troops. >> the national security and defense council has made the decision to instruct the ministry of defense to conduct the redeployment located in the autonomous republic of crimea. they have instructed the cabinet of ministers to evacuate families of businessmen whose
life and health are under real threat. >> as tensions rise president obama is seeking western unionty in punishing moscow for annexing crimea, arriving in a group of seven summit in the netherlands, the president will try to convince leaders to increase pressure and bring more sanctions upon russia. >> we are united in opposing a cost on russia for actions so far. president putin rightly pointed out the growing sanctions would bring significant consequences so the russian economy, and i'll be meeting with my fellow g-7. leaders later today and we'll work with the netherlands and our european partners as we go forward. >> president obama called for this emergency meeting on the situation in ukraine last week because g-7 countries were already scheduled to participate
in an international nuclear summit in the hague. russia is participating in those nuclear talks, and today russian foreign minister lavrov held high level meetings with the new governor. >> we conveyed to him the steps we see need to be taken by the parliament to establish a normal pan-national dialogue that takes into accounts specific parts of ukraine and accounts for all the interest of all its inhabitants. >> reporter: secretary of state john kerry also met lavrov. it was their first meeting since wash imposed financial sanctions on dozens of members of putin inner circle. and 20,000 russian troops have overrun crimea since the fall of
the government in kiev last month. now n.a.t.o. observers in you vain have witnessed a very sizable force of russian troops gathering on the shared border, drawing fierce that president putin is seeking mortar tore. >> the force at the ukrainian border now to the east is very, very sizable and very, very ready. cannot defend against that if you are not there to defend against it. so i think we need to think about our allies, the positioning of our forces in the alliance, and the readiness of those forces in the alliance such that we can be there to defend against it if required especially in the baltics and other places. >> that question is front and center at the meeting of the netherlands. what are president putin's
intentions, and how far is russia willing to go. in crimea with russian troops in control and ukrainians pulling out it all appears to be hanging on a hair trigger. does the way russia is taking possession of the peninsula raise question in eastern europe. during the visit to the dutch capitol for the meeting of the economies. the u.s. and it's allies need to be ready for serious collective action. the president said if russia continues to escalate the situation we need to be prepared to impose a greater cost. n.a.t.o. leaders have said publicly they're worried about the intensifying military conflict in the former soviet union. that's this edition of "inside story." and joining us now from sevastopol in crimea is jennifer
glasse. welcome back to the program. are things now quiet now that russia has had done these couple of seizures of ukrainian military facilities? >> ray, as you said in your report, a tense weekend as they take over facility after facility the ukrainian forces have been frustrated. they've had no guidance from kiev, and the first word they gotten from the leaders. they were told last week to stand their ground but they felt they could not fight against them. the commander making the executive decision not to fight against the russians. they would worried it would result in death if they were outmanned and outgunned. i spoke to military here in sevastopl. half have decided to stay and join the russian force, whatever that force will be, and that the other half is waiting to see what will happen and will go back to ukraine. it is a frustrating choice.
they know if they leave crimea, they'll never be able to come back. it's a wrenching decisions, but they may a promise, a vow to the ukrainian military, and they're going to stick with it. >> have the russians made it clear in the case of ukraine quitting these facilities they don't want them to take all their stuff with them. they have want the assets left behind on crimea don't they? >> reporter: that's right, nowhere as that been more clear than with the ships. you know, all of the ships here in sevastopol have been over run by russian forces. the last shipping to was been over the weekend, the last defiant ship sitting here with the flag. a few ships still stand barricaded in their port. the russians towed one of their ships and sank it to the port so
she couldn't get their ships out. and one by one the russians are taking them over. they told the ukrainian when they came in three weeks ago. lay down your arms. leave it behind, go back to the ukraine. the ukrainian forces stayed but little by little, the russians have taken over. in the last couple of days we've seen the russian forces taking control and more of a frontal stance and taking things like that. >> armored vehicles, ammunition, artillery that's now seized a russian military property? >> anything they could get their hands on, they took a ship, for example, they took that on thursday, and then on friday we saw them unloading all the armaments and all the missiles, all of the weapons and ammunition. taking everything they could off the ship.
anything that they could get in bases because they came in so quickly everything is still there. they have allowed some of the officers go back and get personal items, sailors have been able to get personal items but the ships, the hardware, all that they get to keep. >> jennifer, thanks a lot. we're going to take a short brake. break. when we come back we'll talk about the risky business of taking control of other country's territory. this is "inside story."
commander expressed concern about russia's build up on ukraine's border calling the force very sizable and very, very ready. joining us to discuss what lies ahead for ukraine and how the west plans to respond. from paris, ni ko, senior analyst at the european union for security studies and with me in studio, nic nick nicolai. there was a menu of choices. what does president putin demonstrate by making it a violent kinetic response? >> well, if you look at the putin foreign policy, it always was based for a demanding
demonstration. crimea is the very same case. you know, what is happening during the last winter, this winter, they try to control damage. then he found himself, from the the russian point of view, he had to go in to crimea and take it over. now if you ask me what he's going to do next, i do not know, but it's based on what options he has, and with the west imposing sanctions and put russia in the corner and isolate russia. it's played for putin really
well. >> it sounds like he's saying this is a domestic political problem. >> for the last few years putin telling his people the west is our enemy. wake up, they are not our friends. now the west is proving his point. it's working very well. i'm against the sanctions against of that. i think putin aside, trying to make russia more dependent on american economy. i think it will make putin much more dangerous and he'll have free hands. >> all along the way president putin has fallen back on legal explanations of what he was doing. how come this forcible seizure of crimean military assets
instead of saying possession is ninth-tenths of the law. crimea is russian again. let's talk about how to extract your military assets from this place that is no longer part of your country. >> he's trying to show who is in charge. we have a saying in america better to be hanged for sheep than a lamb. i think frankly the explanation of this major domestic matter for putin is exactly correct. the question now is whether he will understand that russia is going to pay a big price not these short-term sanctions. those are really just a pinpricked, and they were designed to show the countries that are frightened, the baltic states in particular, that the west is not going to abandon them. in the long term we have extensioexistential sanctions.
no one will trust putin. >> niko, is there more nerves, are there jitters in europe watching the violence that accompanied the takeover of the ukrainian military bases? >> there is quite a lot of nervousness, and it is actually the first time we're witnessing military situation, military escalation outside of the balkans and the caucasus since the end of the cold war. and now basically military ways of solving problems is quite a shock for european watchers. >> does that make europe more risk averse or more willing to take steps to see military solutions don't continue?
their already making an effort that there is something of a--there is more blockages in any possibility to escalate the situation. also the policy is to impose costs on putin to prevent repeat of the situation in the future. i would like to respond to what nicolai is saying, yes, it's true, but putin's military action against ukraine has its roots and sources in russian domestic politics, but this is what they're targeted. they're aimed at incurring costs for putin in the domestic arena
by complicating the current regime so that at some point down the road, putin feels more constrained by the economic costs and potential decrease and popularity of his regime. >> nicolai. how do you respond to that? well, the sanctions make sense because it makes him pay a domestic price. >> i would say first we have to take a look at the bigger picture. unfortunately most of russians feels like time after the cold war when russian became partner of the west at the time russia was getting bigger and bigger. everybody wants to reserve that. russia is an observer of the west economic or energy needs. so when putin is saying we have to reverse it. we have to change it. most of the people support him.
theirs first. second, as the kremlin sees it, i'm not a communist, so i can't say that it is reel but first the russian economy is not so weak. it is not dependent on the united states. but europe is very much depends on russian energy. and it will be dependent for 15 or 20 years. and asia will join and will start to buy the russian energy. so putin has choices. for him when west imposes sanctions, no, you can't trust west again. lavrov said, you never keep your promises. now you don't keep your promise again. even in the economy you want to banish us for what we think we're doing right in crimea. a lot of people in russia are lying that. >> ambassador.
wouldn't it have been the more predictable move once you win in crimea to start building things down rather than building them up. >> the crisis isn't over yet. he's trying to show, i'm in charge. i can make things happen. i'm not worried about your sanctions. let's see what happens over the next several weeks. it is possible that he will then move, which i would really think would be unlikely because that's a major escalation. it doesn't border on russia. it's the west of ukraine. there is no case to be made whatsoever after all, crimea was part of russia until 1954 and nikita kruschev made a birthday present of to his native ukraine. if putin holds where he is, deescalates in terms of not making provocative moves towards others, then there might be
other things over time to work out. in any event russia is going to pay a price for having broken the budapest declaration of 1994 under which ukraine gave up nuclear weapons. he'll already have a problem. >> we'll take a short break. and when we come back we'll talk about the possibility of accidental war in europe. this is "inside story."
about russian troop build up on the moscow border. if we had talked in december and somebody suggested that crimea would not even part of ukraine any more in march, probably a lot of people around the table would have said, oh, come on, that's not going to happen. do you make a mistake if you don't take into account the possibility of accidental things happening, like troops open firing on each other when they happen to be in proximity? >> yes, unfortunately, the conversation like we have now would have sounded raisey a month ago. but it has proved much more in tune. it proved right than so-calleddablso calledanalysis. so project what is going to
happen next in eastern you were makes it necessary to look at scenarios of developments in ways that do not exclude military action. this concerns moldova, georgia, also several n.a.t.o. members and other states like kazakhst kazakhstan. >> so is it provocative if n.a.t.o. starts a mobilization and starts to do exercises and just makes clear that it's rea ready, or prudent? >> well, n.a.t.o. i don't think we're talking about n.a.t.o. mobilization. it's clear that there will be no western military response. of course everyone will show a little bit of muscle.
we'll have military capability to defend themselves. this concerns both n.a.t.o. and russia, but i'm quite sure despite it we're not going to see a n.a.t.o. russia military stand off. but of course it's important to both reassure its central european states that there are the necessary contingency plan if such a need arise, but also show russia there are red lines, and if we talk about the case of ukraine of course the reaction is primarily diplomatic and economic and political, but there is no way that any member state could be under such type of military power projection from russia as happens i. >> could it happen by accident. forces taking pot shots at each
other, could it escalate? >> i believe it could be much worse. of course it is dangerous. i agree. accidental wars. but russian logic, if i could present it here means that it was much higher on controlled military or some russians, and trying to prevent that kind of video and prevent conflict by taking over. that's the logic. >> why put 20,000 troops on the border of ukraine? >> well, you know, partially for the reason that we discussed.
>> let me get a quick response from ambassador. >> putin is clearly trying to intimidate the others countries. don't even think about becoming more integrated with the west. remember i'm here. remember i can do things. the issue of accidental war is not in regard to crimea. we've written that off. it's the russian board. it would be down in moldova. if something happened there, then the west would find the pressure domestically on us, and from our allies in central europe much greater than it is today. if mr. putin is seriously interested in having a future for his country in the outside world he has to take tight control and stop where he is. >> a tiny finger of ukrainian land, maybe a pretext can be found to seize that as well and
connect to the russians. that brings us to the end of this edition of "inside story." thanks for being with us. in washington, i'm ray suarez. >> we're driving to a crime scene in a suburb outside of columbia, south carolina... we've come because more women are killed by men here than any other state in the country... around 10:30 in the morning, a family of four, including two children, were found here.